NEMSA gimmer lamb averages up again at 2nd CCM Skipton sale Another improved overall selling average of £118.12 per head, up £15.86 on the year, was achieved at Skipton Auction Mart’s second annual gimmer lamb show and sale on behalf of members of the North of England Mule Sheep Association (NEMSA), with the turnout of 6,567 head almost 400 up on 2020 and again producing solid prices for top-end pens, with runners also in high demand.

The champion pen of ten was consigned by immediate past NEMSA national chairman Kevin Wilson, who farms with his wife Daphne and son, James, at Hewness House Farm, Blubberhouses.

All were by sons of their top-performing Bluefaced Leicester tup, F1 Bighead, which has served the family so well over the years, also being responsible for past Skipton Mule ewe lamb champions, including several in their 2019 title-winning pen of ten. Their latest victors, the very first pen into the sale ring, fell for £200 per head to show co-judge Robert Butterfield, of Bentham.

Runners-up in the tens were the Walker family, from Brennand Farm, Dunsop Bridge, who narrowly missed out of on a clean sweep of title wins in this show class at the two keynote NEMSA shows this season, having stood champions for the second consecutive year at the high profile Skipton opener a fortnight earlier.

However, the Hodder Valley Walkers - Geoff and Margaret and their two sons, John and Rob – did have the honour of claiming the day’s top price of £260 each with their second prize winners, again predominantly by home-bred Bluefaced Leicester tups, out of home-bred Swaledale ewes. They travelled down country to Oxfordshire with Banbury’s WH Alen.

From the same neck of the woods, another pen of ten from Dunsop Bridge’s Edward and John Parkinson sold for second top call of £225, while Embsay’s John, Claire and Annabel Maosn also caught the eye with a £200 pen. Claire continues to serve as NEMSA’s Skipton branch secretary.

Wharfedale father and son, Francis and James Caton, of Weston Hall Farm, Weston, successfully defended their 2020 pen of 20 championship success with lambs by both home-bred N1 and L1 Weston tups, others as last year by F1 Low Tipalt. They fell for joint top price in class of £160, going home with Devon father and son co-judges, Brian and Robert Corsey. The selling price was matched by the second prize pen from the Walker family in Appletreewick - Patrick and Janet, and their son Thomas.

Regular prize winners, the Catons claimed four rosettes in total, also consigning the third prize 20s, which made £158, along with both the third and fourth prize tens, the former doing best at £195, the latter away at £165.

John Fawcett, of Dale Head Barden, returned to stand fifth with his tens, sold for £148, with the sixth prize pen from Bordley’s John Lancaster making £150, bettered at £155 for the sixth prize 20s from the same home.

The Kitching family, from Grisedale Farm, Threshfield – Frank Kitching is chairman of NEMSA’s Skipton branch – completed the prize winners when consigning both the fourth and fifth prize pens of 20, which sold at £138 and £150 respectively, others from the same home selling to a top of £170.

Craven Cattle Marts again presented special prizes for the highest flock averages. Of those consigning 100 or more lambs, it was the Catons who proved top of the flocks, selling 248 to average £137.45, followed by the Appletreewick Walkers with 105 at £136.76, then the Wilsons with 202 at £132.43.

Leading the averages for consignees of less than 100 lambs were Saddle End Farms in Chopping with ten levelling at £148, followed by Hubberholme’s Gill and James Huck with 51 at £141.81, then the Parkinsons with 89 at £137.90.

Aimee Beresford, from Cracoe, co-judged the tens, while show sponsors, as at the opener, were NFU Mutual. Carr’s Billington and WBW Surveyors, all based at the mart.